[heading] by Kelley Gusich | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography [/heading]

Valorous: Bullying has been a reality since David battled Goliath, but it was brought to the forefront of our consciousness one dark morning at Columbine High School, and our nation has been battling the bully ever since. When Dimitar Gougov and Alex and Michael Bulkin saw the problem grow even larger with the advent of cyber-bullying, they heeded the call and launched the 3V movement.

Vigilant: The three saw bullying as a major issue in all of their schools, and felt it would be much more powerfully addressed from a student-to-student standpoint. Dimitar, Alex, and Michael are three highly involved and influential students, and they started the 3V movement “…because we can. We are doing this because we are kids that don’t get bullied; realizing this, we felt it would be easier to stand up for our peers who do get bullied.” The organization began at Del Norte and Cathedral Catholic High Schools, but has already expanded to Rancho Bernardo, St. Augustine, Bishop’s School, Torrey Pines, and St. Michael’s, with eight more schools in the works.

Victorious: The three ‘V’s stand for Vigilance, which representsawareness of the problem and a willingness to fight it, Valor, or bravery in the face of danger—to speak up and take action—and Victory. “If we all come together and agree to the 3V pledge there is no doubt in our minds that we will achieve Victory.” The three founders trumpet this from the rooftops, and if the over 1,100 members who’ve taken the 3V pledge are any indication, people are listening.

Virtually Unstoppable: 3V is sponsored by popular radio stations ENERGY 103.7 and KyXy 96.5, along with Honda, Mazda, and Audi of Escondido. The 3V men also raise money by selling T-shirts and soon sweatshirts and stickers that will improve and expand the program. The clothing is made to be appealing to kids, but also to showcase the positive message of the 3V movement: You don’t need to put others down to feel better about yourself. To join or start a 3V club at your school, simply make a pledge to remain bully free, and/or contact the3vmovement@gmail.com. Dimitar, Alex and Michael shared this message: “When you take the 3V oath you agree to stand up for each and every individual. You agree not only to stand up for yourself, but for others that are victims of bullying.”

[box title=”At A Glance” color=”#333333″]

Full Name of Group: The 3V Movement
Year Established: 2011
Host schools: Cathedral Catholic High School/ Del Norte High School
Number of Founders: 3
Number of Members (Total): 1,114 (as of 10/7/12)
Contact Information: the3vmovement@gmail.com
Twitter: @the3vmovement
Instagram: @the3vmovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/3vclothingco